Some things don’t seem real but in these times, reality gets a little weirder every day. We’re sharing solar finance knowledge with this terrific peer organization out in Montana, and, in turn, have learned about their impressive work. Besides solar, one of their telling projects over the summer was securing and distributing HEPA air filters for vulnerable Missoula citizens in the midst of massive wildfires smoke inundation. They even launched a new website, MontanaWildfireSmoke.org to educate and inform. I was in Boulder, Colorado late August and the smoke from the California wildfires was pretty intense even there, more than a thousand miles from the big fires.
Not wanting to believe my eyes (and lungs), I looked up NOAA weather satellite images that showed smoke covering practically the entire western U.S. and large swaths of the upper Midwest too. When grassroots, community-based nonprofits begin filling public health information voids and helping people literally breathe, you know these times they are a changin. With Hurricane Florence just soaking the Carolinas, we all ought to demand that the media connect the dots between these many extreme weather events of drought and fire, or so-called thousand-year floods like Florence or Harvey with our fossil fuel addiction. Communities coping with these consequences are the canaries in the coal mines, and they’re also on the front lines making change.
You can learn more about this fantastic group of folks at https://www.MissoulaClimate.org/.